It was a tale of two different teams that put on the Beaver Valley Nitehawks jersey on the weekend as the Hawks rebounded from an 8-1 pasting by the Fernie Ghostriders at home on Friday, to beat the Nelson Leafs 4-1 in Nelson on Saturday.
With Nelson’s Adam Geiger sitting in the box, relative newcomer Allan Pruss scored the winner on a setup from twin brother Michael and Lyle Frank with 5:27 to play in the first period to give the Hawks a 2-0 lead.
“We’re very excited about how he (Allan) is playing,” said Nitehawks assistant coach Kevin Limbert. “He was an injection of energy and grit, and very pleased with what he’s brought.”
The Pruss goal would prove to be the winner as the Hawks played tight defensive hockey, limiting the Leafs to just four shots on net in the first period.
“They (our defence) played really well,” said Limbert. “They moved their feet, and moved the puck up ice. I think we just simplified our game a lot. It seemed like on Friday we were over-thinking things and almost handcuffing ourselves, and trying to do too much.”
After three straight losses, the important win over the Leafs keeps the Hawks within striking distance of top spot in the Neil Murdoch division.
B.V. trails the Leafs by two points, and division leading Castlegar Rebels by three points.
The Rebels have picked up points in seven straight games, with six wins and one overtime loss to seize top spot, while Spokane has slipped to fourth place after dropping three of their last four.
Mitch Foyle opened the scoring at 17:49 of the first, when he blasted a Spencer McLean pass by the Nelson goalie. After Pruss’ goal, Robson Cramer would draw the Leafs within one, but Andrew Miller would restore the two-goal lead at 3:08 of the opening frame to give the Hawks a 3-1 lead.
The score would remain unchanged through the second period in the tight checking game as the Hawks outshot the Leafs 10-5 in the middle frame.
Foyle would net his second of the night and 14th of the season at 9:23 of the third with assists going to McLean and Ross Armour to round out the scoring. Drake Poirier got his ninth win of the campaign, stopping 14 shots while the Nitehawks fired 25 at Joey Karrer in the Nelson net.